By Kirsty Topping
ANTISOCIAL buskers will have their instruments confiscated and even court action unless they comply with strict new guidelines.
Edinburgh council’s scheme – dubbed
“Hit the Right Note’ – is a response to claims that noisy and boorish street performers are among the biggest nuisances in the city.
Buskers will be given credit card-sized guidance notes outlining best practice.
Entertainers will be expected to play music at respectable volumes and to move pitches, which must be at least 50 metres apart, every two hours.
They will also be asked not to perform in doorways and should stop performing in the event of
“anyone who is inconvenienced or disturbed’ asks them to.
Amplifiers will also be banned unless permission has been granted by the council or Fringe Festival chiefs.
David Beckett, convener of the City Centre Neighbourhood partnership, said: – Edinburgh is a vibrant and colourful city all year round and street entertainers add great character to our city streets. However, noise from buskers can cause distress, particularly in highly populated residential areas of the city centre.
“Noise nuisance from busking is one of the top complaints for local residents and the council has been working with police to address the problems associated with this type of anti-social behaviour.
“We want to ensure buskers have good clear advice so everyone can enjoy s pleasant and entertaining environment. “
Owen Moore, 24, a professional busker and student who often perfoms on the Royal Mile and Rose Street, welcomed the move.
“It seems to me there’s little difference from what they are doing now but I’m pleased there will be some clarification about busking here.
“To be honest it’s pretty rare that somebody does complain because Edinburgh is a tourist city and a pretty noisy city.
“As long as it’s enforced as it is now, which seems to be in keeping with what the card says, I won’t have too many complaints. “
Inspector Diane Bruce, of the city centre policing team, added:
“Entertainers such as buskers add real value to the atmosphere of Edinburgh city centre and are fantastic for furthering Edinburgh’s tourism industry.
“We know, however, that it can sometimes be a different story for the local residents and business workers who can be disturbed by noise and crowds gathering.
“We came up with this idea to provide this guidance so residents and workers can have a peaceful atmosphere, while preserving Edinburgh’s tradition as a hub for fantastic entertainment. “